After going fully with a youth approach at the running back position this offseason, the Packers have finally caved and signed a veteran back, signing Cedric Benson, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals, to a one year contract. Prior to Benson’s signing, the idea was to have James Starks, a 2010 6th round pick with just 162 career carries, and Alex Green, a 2011 3rd round pick with just 3 career carries coming off a torn ACL, to be the top two backs with Brandon Saine, a 2011 undrafted free agent with just 18 career carries, and maybe Marc Tyler, a rookie undrafted free agent, to be below them on the depth chart.
However, with Starks, the presumed lead back, having a rough Training Camp, the Packers have signed Benson, a major indictment on Starks, especially. Benson won’t cut too much into Green’s carries as he’s the type of change of pace, pass catching back that neither Benson nor Starks is. He’ll still have a significant role. However, Benson will cut into Starks’ carries on the first two downs. It’s not a pretty situation for fantasy players, but the Packers have a strong passing game and offensive line so their 3 backs splitting carries should allow them to be decent on the ground as an occasional change of speed from their dominant passing offense. Ironically, the soon to be 30 Benson would appear to be the most durable of the group.